LUKAS VERZBICAS BACK ON TRACK

Lukas Verzbicas (L) with Jim Ryun, two sub-four high school milers

Lukas Verzbicas (L) with Jim Ryun, two sub-four high school milers

How quickly the big wheel turns and with it the bright glare of celebrity and fame.  Just this week Bronxville, New York teen sensation Mary Cain won her third USATF Athlete of the Week award of 2013 for her junior and high school 800 meter record at the Nike Pre Classic in Eugene, Oregon.  But recall that in 2011 the teen everyone was talking about was Lukas Verbicas of Orland Park, Illinois, who won two USATF AOW awards in a period of six months, the last for his 3:59.71 victory at the adidas Grand Prix Dream Mile, when he became only the fifth high school runner in U.S. history to go sub-4:00 – and only the second in an all-high school event.

Two very consequential years later we found Lukas back on the track at University City High School in San Diego competing in the mile and 5000 meters at the Summer’s Night Track & Field Meet still on the road to recovery from a horrific cycling crash last summer that nearly killed the triathlete/runner, then left him partially paralyzed and learning how to walk again.

The big wheel may have turned, but slivers of light still seek him out. Continue reading